--Original published at Taylor'sEtownCollegeBlog
D.A.R.E., a program that was used to make kids aware of the negative impact drugs have on people’s lives. When the D.A.R.E. program came about, many people were highly supportive of the program because of its main goal. The tactics that D.A.R.E. used to inform the kids about the negative effects of drugs were through the “Just say no!” program. This was where students would meet weekly with a police officer who would inform the students about all the negatives of drugs and alcohol. It was a zero-tolerance based program that made all drugs and alcohol seem equally as bad. With the idea that all drugs and alcohol were equally as bad, students were made out to believe that marijuana and meth were at the same level of badness. This goes the same for alcohol. Many people criticized this program because of this theory.
D.A.R.E. is often questioned for its affectability. There have been many studies done to test the overall effectiveness of the program D.A.R.E. and others like it. Many of these studies are very challenging to find trust worthy because of the small sample sizes along with the lack of random assignment. Despite the challenge of a valid study, there are several studies that analyze the validity and effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program. In a study by…, it was found that D.A.R.E. had a less than small effect on the use of drugs (Pan). D.A.R.E. was found to have little effect on the significance of children using drugs and alcohol. Many people are bothered by this idea because of the amount of money and time that was invested into making this program grow. I separate study found the same results and stated that the money and time should be focused on other methods or reducing the usage of drugs and alcohol (West). These studies showed that D.A.R.E. ultimately caused an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs in children in their adolescent years. Through this abstinence training, it has been found to not be highly beneficial.
Alcohol and drug abstinence are not the only programs that are taught through out schools. Often sex abstinence programs are often taught in schools. These programs are often used to scare kids out of having sex, yet, there is not scientific evidence to support this method as being the most effective. These programs are often very similar to the D.A.R.E. program. Since the D.A.R.E. program has been proven to not be very effective, I find it highly unbeneficial to be teaching students the abstinence method when regarding sex safety and education. Personally, I believe that threatening kids and scaring them out of having sex is not the best method when it comes to educating them about the dangers. Instead, I believe that schools should have a very open discussion about how to have safe sex, instead of only preaching to students to not have sex at all. If the school educates the students on how to have safe sex instead of how dangerous it is to have unprotected sex, it will educate the students in a productive manner.
In review, the program D.A.R.E. has an overall intention of improving the safety and health of students across the world, however, it has been found not to be very productive at all. Therefore, with this information, I would recommend that instead of teaching abstinence-based sex education to transition to a newer method of teaching this sensitive topic. Overall, D.A.R.E. is not nearly as beneficial or effective as originally expected.
Pan, Wei, and Haiyan Bai. “A Multivariate Approach to a Meta-Analytic Review of the
Effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. Program.” International Journal Of Environmental
Research And Public Health, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 267–277. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3390/ijerph6010267.
West, Steven L., and Keri K. O’Neal. “Project D.A.R.E. Outcome Effectiveness Revisited.”
American Journal of Public Health, vol. 94, no. 6, June 2004, pp. 1027–1029.